April 23, 2013

DIY: Dyeing a bedsheet

I decided that it was time our bedsheet had some coordination with the our duvet cover. However replacing a bedsheet does not come cheap. Especially if you’re looking at a king sized one. Also, if you’re existing bedsheets are in good enough condition then you don’t want to throw them. So I thought to myself – how I wish I could dye them. That thought was followed an internet search and I found a useful link.

Here’s a before/after comparison:


I knew the color that I wanted so I bought two bottles of RIT Scarlet Liquid Dye. The bedsheet and the pillows together weighed close to 2 lbs. So that would be 1 bottle of RIT (1/2 a bottle for each lb of fabric). Since I wanted a rich color, I figured I would go with 2 bottles.

Here’s a comparison with the color on the bottle and the actual color that it dyed to. I would say I got a more coral color than a Scarlet. Luckily coral works for me equally!


The instructions mentioned to use the washing machine for bug fabrics but I wasn’t too confident that everything would fly well and there would be no unforeseen consequences with that approach. So I went with the bucket/sink method.

I used a big Sterlite box and did this whole process within the confinements on my bathtub. The instructions say to cleanup afterwards using bleach. However I’m happy to report that I was able to cleanup my bathtub with baking soda. That might differ from one tub to another.

Wear clothing that is dark enough so that if a few drops of dye to splash on you, your clothes don’t get ruined. Or wear an apron, work clothes, you get the idea.

Steps to follow:

  1. Wet the fabric.
  2. Fill the box with hot water.
  3. Add salt.
  4. Mix in the dye.
  5. Now put your bedsheet and pillows in.
  6. Keep stirring for 30 minutes. The instructions say 30-60 minutes; but I was tired after 30 and wasn’t sure that I was seeing any difference so I stopped.
  7. Rinse, rinse and rinse the bedsheet and pillows in water.
  8. Did I mention rinse? Oh yes I rinsed them TEN times – yes you read that right! TEN!!!! If you’ve rinsed a king size sheet once then you know how I felt!!! No wonder on the instructions they don’t mention how long that might take!!!
  9. I washed the bedsheet in the washer and then dried it in the dryer.

I’m very happy with the result! With just $6 (I used a coupon at Joann for the dye) and a little (?!?!) muscle work I now have completely new looking bedsheets. Plus I don’t have to dump my good old bedsheets!

April 5, 2013

My first quilt

I started this quilt back in December and it took me four months to get it done! It’s a very simple quilt with just chain stitching; but it makes me very happy! Quite a long time back I used to eye various quilts that I would see around me and wish that I would make a quilt one day. Then a few days later I would be totally dissuaded considering the gigantic size of the project – literally and figuratively! I don’t know how and when I decided that I was going to make one – I guess the day I bought the fabric Smile. I found a set of fat quarters on sale and decided that they would be perfect for a quilt. I believe it’s the Verona collection from Moda fabrics. Then began the cutting, the piecing and the quilting! Oh how I frustrated I’d been during the quilting, cursing my sewing machine all along; taking breaks along the journey lest I throw my machine out of the windows or go bald pulling all my hair! Then came the sweet day – the day when I added the binding and had in front of me a beautiful piece of quilt! When you’ve been through so much pain, you can totally appreciate the end result.
Initially I started with quilting in the ditch, then thought maybe I could do some diagonals but it turned out to be too much work so I returned back to quilting in the ditch!
Anyways…it’s almost a full sized quilt. There are a lot of things I learned:
  1. ALWAYS make sure that your pieces are straight and to the measure.
  2. A 1/4” seam means 1/4” – no less and no more.
  3. After piecing, if you don’t have a rectangle/square, trim it to one.
  4. After quilting, if you don’t have a rectangle/square, AGAIN trim it to one.